"The night of the accident he had fought his way out of the water and up a hill," Strickland's wife Helen reveals

By Danielle Anderson
Updated January 04, 2016 05:15 PM
Credit: Source: Twitter

Hours after Craig Strickland’s body was found at Bear Creek Cove near Kaw Lake in Kay County, Oklahoma, his wife, Helen Strickland, is shedding some light on his last moments.

“Craig was found today. We can finally rest knowing that he is at home in heaven with his father,” Helen posted on Instagram.

“The night of the accident he had fought his way out of the water and up a hill before the stages of hypothermia set in. He experienced no pain in his final moments and simply felt like he was falling asleep. They found him lying in the shape of a cross looking up to his father.”

“Thank you to every single person who prayed for him and our family during this time,” she wrote. “There was not a more peaceful way for him to go into the arms of our Lord, and I know your prayers had a role in making that happen. I know he saw Jesus at that moment when he laid down and walked arm in arm with Him into a better Everlasting Life. I love you with all my heart Craig Michael. #craigstrickland”

The former Miss Arkansas confirmed the death of her husband earlier on Twitter.

Friends and family were clinging to hope that he might be found alive after his beloved dog Sam, who was hunting with him at the time, was found safe and sound after the Backroad Anthem singer, 29, and his friend Chase Morland went missing during winter storm Goliath on Dec. 27. Morland’s body was found Dec. 28.

Morland had tweeted an ominous message foreshadowing the tragic turn of events.

“In case we don’t come back, @BackroadCRAIG and I are going right through Winter Storm Goliath to kill ducks in Oklahoma. #IntoTheStorm,” Morland, 22, wrote in the early morning hours on Sunday. Strickland also retweeted the message the same day.

“We are hanging in there,” Strickland’s bandmate Toby Freeman told PEOPLE exclusively Monday. “We are still in shock. It’s still hard to believe and I know the family is struggling.”